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Photo Credit: © Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

WDYTT: Who was the Vancouver Canucks’ postseason MVP?

First and foremost, folks, we’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your loyal readership (and responsership) during the 2019/20 season. It’s been quite the wild ride.

And with that, we’d also like to welcome you to the first 2020 Offseason Edition of WDYTT, the only hockey column on the internet with a Tyler Motte-esque work ethic.

During the regular season, four contenders emerged for the title of Canucks’ MVP, and the debate over their merits proved fierce.

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Now that the playoffs are completed, the field has only grown.

Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, Jacob Markstrom, and JT Miller all had extremely strong postseasons, and Thatcher Demko has definitely thrown his helmet in the ring of MVP contention. Even Tyler Motte now looks like a dark horse candidate for the Canucks’ best playoff performer.

So, this week, we’re keeping it simple and asking you:

Who was the Canucks’ playoff MVP in 2020?

Last week (following Thatcher Demko’s Game Five playoff debut), we asked:

Do you believe in Thatcher Demko?

Your prescient responses are below!

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Beer Can Boyd:

Demko seems to have an adjustment period every time he steps up a level. Looks like he’s completed another one. He was excellent last night, and is certainly NHL starting goalie material. Like someone said on another link, sign Marky to the 5×5 deal, but with no protection, then dare Seattle to take him. If they do, c’est la vie, means you gain $5 million in cap space and don’t lose another player. Or they could trade one of them next season in a package for a young RHD. Among other teams, both Carolina and Edmonton have an abundance of good young D-men and below average goaltending.

Grayvee:

If Demko can steal another game, it will make it tough to commit the years and cap space Markstrom has earned. As it stands, I would try to sign Markstrom, but be able to protect Demko. A trade before the expansion might make sense, but the Nucks are going to lose a much better player then Sbisa this time.

DogBreath:

I believe in him, but it’s about asset management. Sign Markstrom (if reasonable) and a 1B goalie, and trade Demko for assets. The Canucks need to fill their RHD position and build their asset pool for a sustained run.

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51Geezer:

Yes. He is no longer the goalie of the future.

We can live without Marky; we have to live without him because we need the money.

Robby-D:

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Yes, but I thought that before last night, too. I really thought he should’ve started the second of the last back-to-back.

I’d personally sign Marky, but protect Demko in the expansion draft, with room to change my mind based on their respective performances leading up to said event.

J-Canuck:

I’m not sure why people put a ceiling on Demko at 24? He might be above average? Demko has excelled at every level he has played and was nails in his first playoff game ever! Not one bit of nerves. Marky has been great, but also leaky. If the Canucks lose Demko to the expansion draft, it will be a failure. Demko at 24 is set to man the goal during a Canucks’ Cup window, Marky at 30 may well be on the decline. TD is the future Canuck goalie.

TheRealRusty:

I believe that, while Demko is not yet a bona fide number one starter, he has the capacity to be one and deserves at least 50% of the starts next year if he is to develop. I also believe, while Markstorm will give us a chance over the next two years, Demko’s timelime matches better with our young core over the next five to six years. My only one concern would be his history of concussions.

North Van Halen:

If only there was no salary cap and no expansion draft, this would be easy. We could let it sort itself out over the next two seasons. Alas, this is not the case and the Canucks have this offseason to try and figure out their goalie for the next window.

Markstrom has been amazeballs these last two seasons, but Petey and Hughes are still three to four years from their prime (what a great thought, eh?). I want Demko coming into his prime for that run, not Marky hanging on to past glories. I don’t enjoy the thought of Marky haunting us in Seattle for the next couple of years, and I definitely don’t want Demko doing it for the next eight, so Benning’s decision on how to navigate this is complicated as hell.

I’d love to run with both for the foreseeable future, but if my choice is watching one of these two make our lives miserable for years to come in Seattle or letting Marky walk and having Demko partner with a guy like Talbot for a couple of years, I think I’d choose Demko.

Killer Marmot:

(Winner of the author’s occasional award for cryptid references)

Do I believe in Thatcher Demko? Yeah, he probably exists, but I also believe in the Ogopogo, so take it for what it’s worth.

Do I believe that Demko is the Canucks’ starting goalie of the future? Yep. He had a .905 save percentage in the regular season. A .910 is about the dividing line between starting and non-starting goalies. A .915 is premium. That’s not a big jump for a still-youngish goalie, especially since the Canucks’ goaltending coach Ian Clark is reputedly pretty good. Besides, Markstrom’s not going to be around forever and there’s no obvious alternative, so I may as well have faith in Demko.

My biggest concern in not signing Markstrom is who’s going to be the backup goalie. Throwing DiPietro in the lineup might be downright cruel.

Jaydee:

I’ve always believed in Demko, and I am usually right with youngsters and their potential. So, yes, I believe in Demko.

Captain Video:

(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)

Can the existence of a backup goaltender be derived a priori from “innate ideas” through deductive reasoning? Tough, unless one accepts Aristotelianism or Empiricism and their reliance upon sensory experience.

However, assuming the existence of Thatcher Demko as some sort of red-headed stepchild of Cartesian reasoning, I’d say that in a flat cap environment, the possibility of spending less than $6 million on a starting goaltender in his 30s when the rest of the core is in their early 20s is kinda attractive.

But the Canucks would still need to sign a quality backup, as Demko has not proven that he can handle a starter’s schedule yet.

Hockey Bunker:

I’m a believer in evolution, not revolution, so I believe he will need another year of backup duty getting 35 games. That said, if Markstrom wants too much, Demko is the man.

Defenceman Factory:

Do you believe in Demko…yet? No, not yet.

Canuck management’s opinion of Demko will dictate what the team does with Markstrom. If Markstrom can be re-signed within the cap space available, he should be. Rushing to anoint Demko the new starter isn’t wise and probably isn’t necessary.

Demko is a decent goalie capable of having big games. I haven’t seen enough to know if he can hold the Canucks in games night in and night out.

Take the next season and split the starts. If Demko shows he can consistently perform as well as Markstrom, then trade Markstrom or expose him to the expansion draft. If not, move Demko and find plan B for a longer-term replacement for Markstrom. Making a mistake on starting goaltending is too damaging to not take every precaution available.

Nuck16:

He has shown that he can do it consistently in the AHL and he has shown that he’s good enough to be dominant in the NHL, though with less consistency. What this tells me is that he will definitely be a consistently dominant goalie in the NHL eventually, once he’s a starter and has the workload of a starter.

Holly Wood:

I believe in him for Games Six and Seven of this series. Pretty hard for Markstrom to recover from a groin strain in three or four days.

LTFan:

Demko had a terrific game on Tuesday. He will need another one tonight for the Canucks to have a chance. Everyone who dresses for the game will have to have their “A” game for 60 minutes. Go Canucks Go!